The new Watch app is available with version 2020.13 or higher of the Gaia GPS phone app. Make sure you are updated to the latest version of Gaia GPS in the App Store. You need watchOS version 6 or higher to run the app on your Apple Watch.
The Watch app is designed to work independently from the iOS app. You no longer need to be running the Gaia GPS app on your phone to use Gaia GPS on your Watch.
- Record a track
- Mark waypoints
- Turn by turn navigation on pre-planned routes with offline maps
- Health Kit integration
The Watch app has three views:
- On your iPhone, open the Watch app.
- Scroll down to "Available Apps", locate Gaia GPS, and tap Install.
- Once installed, the Gaia GPS app should show up on your Watch.
Make sure your Location Services are set to Always by following these steps:
- On your iPhone, open the Settings app > Privacy > Location Services > Gaia GPS > Always. On iOS 14, make sure Precise Location is also toggled on.
The Watch app includes two main functions:
- Record: Track or Waypoint
Navigate with Routes and Maps on the Watch
To Navigate, you must first send a route from the Gaia GPS app on your phone to the Watch.
To send a route to your watch, follow these steps:
- Watch: open Gaia GPS. Make sure Gaia GPS is open with the screen illuminated.
- iPhone: open Gaia GPS > tap Saved > filter by Routes
- Tap on a route name to open the details screen
- Tap the More (***) button in the top right corner
- Tap Send to Watch
Only routes that are created manually using the app or website can be sent to the Apple Watch.
You will see a spinning icon followed by a success message once the route is sent to the Watch:
Follow these steps to follow a route on your watch:
- Tap Navigate
- On the Routes screen, tap the name of the Route to view the route's details
- Then scroll down and tap Start Route. Starting the route will automatically start recording a track.
While navigating a route, you can flip through the following screens:
- Route controls: this screen allows you to add a waypoint, end the track recording, pause the track recording, and lock the screen.
- Route maneuvers /waypoints: the screen provides turn-by-turn directions
- Track stats: this screen includes distance, time, ane elevation status for the route
- Route map view: allows you to view zoom in and out on your current location on a map by rotating the Digital Crown
- Media /now playing: this screen allows you to play or pause media
If you haven't sent any Routes to your Watch, you'll see a screen that looks like this:
It can take a few moments for new routes to appear in the watch app. If you are having any issues with routes appearing on the Watch app, try the following:
- Tap the back arrow to return to the launch screen then tap Navigate again. Backing out of the Routes screen to the Navigate screen will force the app to refresh.
Recording a track
To record a track on the watch, follow these steps:
- Tap Record
- Tap Track
- Select your activity. Your 5 most recent activities will display at the top of the list.
You can rotate the digital crown to see different stats displayed in the lower left corner.
Swipe right to view the track controls screen, from here, you can end or pause a track, add a waypoint to mark your current location, or lock the screen.
After you end a track, it will be visible in the Saved Tracks list on your phone.
Waypoints can be added any time from the launch screen by following these steps:
1. Tap Record
2. Tap Track
3. Select your activity. Your 5 most recent activities will display at the top of the list.
4. Tap Save or tap View Details to change the waypoint's title or icon
5. Tap Save
Additionally, you can add a waypoint during or track or route by swiping right to the far left Track Controls screen and tapping the "+ Waypoint” button.
On the Settings screen, you can toggle on or off the following notifications:
- Maneuvers: notifications related to upcoming turns along the route
- Off Route: notifications anytime you go off route by more than 500 ft
- Waypoints: notifications for upcoming waypoints
- Miles Traveled: notifications for every mile or kilometer traveled
You can select your preferred Units: Miles or Kilometers
Apple Health Kit integration
The first time you record a track on the watch you will see a Health Access prompt. Follow the prompts to allow Gaia GPS to access and update your Health data.
The watch app now records workouts alongside tracks. Workouts are viewable in the Apple Health app on iOS.
You can grant Gaia GPS access to your Health data at a later time by following these steps:
- On your phone, tap Settings > Health > Data Access & Devices > GaiaGPS
- Select "Turn All Categories On"
Does starting a track on your phone also start a track on your watch?
Track recording on the phone and the watch are separate. One does not start the other. Tracks recorded on the watch are visible on the phone after you're done recording and you've saved the track
Can I see a map on my Watch? And is the map available offline?
To access a map on the Watch, you must first create a route and send it to the Watch by following the steps above. When a route is sent to the watch, it includes a downloaded map of Gaia Topo. This map is available even if you are offline.
Where do I find the "Precise Location" setting?
If you are running iOS 14, you will need to make sure Precise Location is toggled on in the Settings app on your iPhone by following these steps: open the Settings app > Privacy > Location Services > Gaia GPS > Always and make sure Precise Location is toggled on
What if the app says "Send to Watch (not reachable)"?
You will see the "unreachable" message if the Watch app is not open or if the Watch is not connected to your phone.
First, try this: tap ‘Cancel’ in the iPhone app, open Gaia GPS on your Watch, and tap ‘More’ on your iPhone.
If that doesn't work, make sure Gaia GPS is open with the screen illuminated on both your phone and the Watch and try again.
To keep your screen on longer, change these settings:
- For Series 5 and Series 6 Watches: set your Display to “Always On”: Watch Settings -> Display & Brightness -> Always On
- On earlier Watch models: change your Wake Screen settings: Watch Settings -> General -> Wake Screen -> Wake for 70 Seconds